July 27th 2020 – Psalm 47

"To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

 Clap your hands, all peoples!
    Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
    a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
    and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
    the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah

God has gone up with a shout,
    the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
    Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing praises with a psalm!

God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted!"

Psalm 47

In relation to what was said in the previous note, we should bear in mind what the message of Psalm 46 was: God had gone down to intervene on behalf of His people. Now He has gone up, and returned to His place, having accomplished what He came down to do. And this is precisely what we see and read in the New Testament, of Christ. One thinks, for example, of Philippians 2:5-11, where in 5-8 it is God coming down, in the Person of His Son, and in 9-11 He goes up with a shout (cf also Hebrews 1:1-3, and Ephesians 4:8ff, for the same pattern). The significance of the Ascension of Christ is that in it His redeeming work has reached its end: the 'movement' has returned to its origin, the circle is complete. Not that this means He has withdrawn from us, indeed the opposite. It is because He has gone up on high that His Presence is ever with us, by the Spirit. This is what His last words to the disciples mean: 'All power is given unto Me...and lo, I am with you always...'. The practical use of this doctrinal position is surely obvious: we are called to be ambassadors of an ascended and exalted Lord, and we are invested with royal power and authority as we do our work for Him - a solemn, glorious and reassuring thought!